Lycium afrum is a sturdy perennial shrub or small tree (SA Tree List No 669,2) with stiff, thorny branches that grows among rocks and on stony slopes in the drier parts of the Western Cape coastal belt. The leaves are small, narrow, hard and growing in whorls. The flowers are purple, tubular with five small petal lobes adorning the mouth of the flower. The fruit is spherical and fleshy; originally green, it turns red, then black.
The Lycium shrubs of the Karoo are commonly known in Afrikaans as kriebos or kriedoring. This Lycium has developed the name kriekdoring in some literature which seems like the result of some finger trouble of long ago (already found in Bond and Goldblatt, 1984) and should rightly be kraalkriedoring as Coates Palgrave (2002) has it.